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@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Internet of Things and Wearables in 2015 By @SoftwareHollis | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

Semi-ready for Primetime in 2014, Will 2015 Be Any Different?

Wearables - Will 2015 Be the Year They Take Off?

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Mont Blanc shows off their "smart watch band" for your fussy $5000 mechanical watch - what an potentially foreshadowing development in the wearable market.  To date, wearables have been such a disappointment in the market.  It seems like every year for the past 3 years has been "the year Apple might ship an iWatch", and the market is rife with ugly and semi-functional wearable devices that rarely manage more than a 3-star rating on Amazon.

Will 2015 be any different?

When the first generation of smart watch wearables first came out, I dismissed their impact on the luxury watch market.  Seriously - who would swap out their Ulysse Nardin or Patek Phillippe for some ugly, buggy, limited-functionality digital watch that only works when you are within 30 feet of your iPhone or Android device?  As Tony Tijan recently commented on TechCrunch, "creators need to figure out use cases and applications that genuinely simplify everyday tasks, rather than complicate them."

Now, I'm really starting to question my initial thoughts on this.  Just for curiosity's sake, I bought myself a Pebble Steel when they were on sale before Christmas for $149.  I figured I'd try it out, learn a bit first-hand on the current state of wearables - and generally see what all the fuss was about.  No matter how much one reads and studies, there's nothing like personal experience.

I saved the box, so I could put the gadget up for sale on eBay in 60 days - figuring the whole learning experience might cost me $50 worst-case.   Not bad, considering that I spent some $700 last year having my fancy mechanical Swiss watches "serviced" by some guy named Fritz. All of a sudden, that $89 repair bill for my busted iPhone screen doesn't look so bad.

Thirty days into my Pebble experience, I'm somewhat hooked - and eagerly look forward to a more advanced generation of wearables.  Perhaps the "iWatch" will be it.  My ownership experience has hardly been perfect - the functionality and the apps are pretty limited, and the link between my iPhone and the watch can be a bit fussy every now and again.  Personally, I think the Pebble looks clunky (although quite a few people have commented that it's "sleek" or at least "interesting").  For what it's worth, nobody ever comments on the Swiss timepieces that I used to wear.

And therein lies an interesting point - I haven't worn my "normal" watches since I got the Pebble.  I have gotten rather attached to being able to see my text messages on my watch, and knowing who is calling me when my iPhone is in its charger in the next room, and being warned when my phone is low on juice.  Oh - and it alerts me whenever my boss sends me an email (although the print is so small I can't read what it says).

To be sure, there will always be a market for fancy gold dress watches.  And the current batch of wearables appears to be only "semi-ready" for prime-time.  But this wearable thing is going to be big - and it's going to take a significant bite out of the watch market and the phone market (don't think for a second that these watches will require "tethering" to a smart-phone forever).  I'm looking forward to the next-gen of these devices.  When the iWatch actually ships (if it ever does), my first thought is likely to be "anyone wanna buy a used Pebble?" - possibly followed by "anyone wanna buy a used Swiss watch?"

More Stories By Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell Software. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. You can also reach Hollis on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/SoftwareHollis. His latest online venture is OnlineBackupNews - a free reference site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems from threats. Every year IT Downtime Costs $26.5 Billion In Lost Revenue. Even with such high costs, 56% of enterprises in North America and 30% in Europe don’t have a good disaster recovery plan. Online Backup News aims to make sure you all have the news and tips needed to keep your IT Costs down and your information safe by providing best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers. He is also an author on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on protecting data: Online Backup News.
He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis

Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com

All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

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